show conducive to the Christmas spirit
Saturday morning, I got up early to let Ol’ Buddy outside.
He needed to visit our neighbor’s yard to do his fertilizing
chores. When I opened the door, I could hear something ticking
on the boxwoods. I stepped outside to get a better look. The wind
out of the northeast was cold and put goosebumps as big as BBs
on both my arms.
Apparently the snow had been falling for some time and collecting on the
branches of the pine and it looked like shards of ivory in the glow of
the streetlight in our yard.
I stepped from under the eve, looked up, and opened my mouth to catch a
few snowflakes on my tongue. I hadn’t done that since I was a kid.
I cranked up the fireplace and we drank coffee as we watched the snow show
out our front windows. It’s been a while since we had snow this early in
the year that actually stuck to the ground.
Our great nephew, Jordan, walked over with his mom from next door. He’s
not quite 2 years old yet, but he’s already seen snow twice in his
short lifetime. Jilda calls him a snow baby. He had on his snowsuit and
he was bundled as tight as a link sausage.
He was loving the snow. I lobbed a couple snowballs at him and he soon
learned to dodge and to return fire. We had a large time.
After the sun came up, we decided it was a perfect day to pick out our
Christmas tree. Each year we get a live tree that we can plant in the yard
after Christmas so we can enjoy it year after year.
The first tree we ever bought was a white pine about 4-feet tall. We planted
it at the northeast corner of our house and it now stands at least 40 feet
tall. If we cut it down, it would probably provide enough timber to build
an outhouse if we decided to go retro with our plumbing.
There were years when we were broker than the 10 Commandments and couldn’t
afford to buy a tree. We improvised by digging up the Christmas tree
from the year before and putting it in a No. 3 washtub. I remember thinking
it looked better the second time around.
This year we found a 7-footer at Pine Hill Farms near Fultondale. We walked
around the tree several times and shook snow from the branches to make sure
the shape was just right.
A few minutes later, a couple of high school boys swooped down with sharpshooter
shovels and in a flash, we were on our way home with our new tree.
There is an art to decorating the Christmas tree properly. You need hot
apple cider, about three hours of Christmas music, preferably, Elvis, Karen
Carpenter, Emmylou Harris and “December” by George Winston.
Not all together, mind you, because that would sound weird, but in a tasteful
mix. A fire in the fireplace is also conducive to the tree decoration.
We always unpack our Christmas ornaments with great care. We now have 35
years worth that we’ve received through the years as gifts from friends
and family. Each one is a treasure and comes with a story that we
get to relive every year at Christmas.
All in all, it was a great day! I started out licking snowflakes from the
sky and ended up sitting by the fireplace sipping hot cider and admiring
a beautiful Christmas tree. What a great way to get into the Christmas